Friday, June 27, 2008

Sewer Confusion Creates Stinky Situation For Milton

Jamie Woodhead / Beaconcast

After a year and a half of cityhood, guess what Milton City Council and Mayor just figured out? They do not have a viable sewer policy.

Last week’s council meeting turned into a spotlight on the total lack of knowledge of the city’s sewer policy by government officials. The city has a broad “no sewer” mandate stemming from November’s election results. This means that most properties have septic systems for their waste. Milton sees a link between development and sewers, so by denying new sewers the city strives to keep large developments away. No Sewer = No Development Ken Morton of Webb Road Associates brought forth the first item on the city’s zoning agenda. He wanted to modify the site plan on the north side of Webb Road, and he requested a deferral until August because of sewer problems. The deferral request turned into Council’s realization that the city needs a formal and specific sewer policy. In the city’s most recent survey, 80 percent of citizens who participated wanted to uphold the no sewer policy, but Council was confused how best to do so.

“I believe that the sewer versus no sewer policy is the biggest issue facing our community,” said Councilwoman Julie Zahner Bailey. “Instead of focusing on short-term solutions, we need to roll up our sleeves and have a workshop with open, public discussions on sewer policy.”

Council member Bill Lusk went on to highlight the city’s confusion when he stated, “We haven’t really defined what a no sewer policy means. We need to solve this issue once and for all. We need to terminate a discussion that’s case by case.”

Tart Gets Tough

As discussion over sewers continued, a frustrated Councilman Alan Tart said, “This is a waste of our applicants’ time and our time to keep bringing this up. There seems to be a theme at Council to put temporary band aids on issues just to get us to the next week.”

Applicants Quit

The Council finally decided that they need to hold a workshop to solve the city’s sewer mess, but they had no immediate answer for applicant Ken Morton. Morton decided to withdraw his application “because of all this confusion. Let’s get this resolved as quickly as possible. Let’s get sewers where they need to be, in smart places.”

Milton Organizers, the next applicants who sought to redesign a site plan off of Highway 9 to eliminate septic and connect to sewer, also decided to withdraw their application because of the sewer mayhem.

Following Milton Organizers, Eric Johansen of the Inland Group petitioned to modify a site plan on the south side of Cumming Highway. At first, this application held the promise of being easily approved. Staff supported the modified site plan, and Johansen even pointed out that there should not be a sewer issue here because there is already a sewer line running through the property. However, Councilman Tart, along with Council members Zahner Baily and Tina D’Aversa, hesitated with the application. “The issue of sewer is still an issue for this application too,” he explained. “I’d hate to approve this applicant when there’s confusion about sewers,” said Tart.

Council finally decided to defer the item until July 7 because of a question about sewer availability. Johansen, who wanted to immediately start work on the site, was not happy about the deferral. Like Morton, he explained to Council that he hoped they would quickly decide upon a sewer policy.


Anonymous said...

Before septic and sewer was in area, things were so simple, outhouse and a Sears & Roebuck catalog.

Then along came septic tanks, some simple regulations required for installation.

Then came the human masses and what we were doing and/or not doing was incorrect. In this group was a young woman, from south of here, who had visions of grandeur.

Now we have the City of Milton and still don't have a sewer policy. Don't you think it's time to stop worring about offending someone and trying to be politically correct and make the tough decisions. Discontinue calling a meeting to see if you should call a meeting.

Each Council member should have an idea of what his or her constituents prefer. If the residents remain silent, they should not blame you for making a decision with which they disagree.

I voted for the Council to represent me and make the decisions and am confident they can do just that. When someone asks why did you make that decision, respond with, "Well, I had to make a decision and at the time it seemed like the right thing to do."

The time has come to defecate or get off the pot.

Anonymous said...

I like Doug Nurse's articles better of the AJC. Who's this Beacon gal? If 80% of the population wants to keep sewer out then that is what the Council should do. They sent out the survey for a reason right? So do what the majority of your constituents have voiced, and put an end to it. Stop himmin and hawin, put it to the vote and be done already.

Anonymous said...

In answer to your question, the Beacon, like the Milton Herald, is a developer shill. Look at any issue of either, and you see very quickly that they could not survive without developer advertising -- especially the Herald.

Neither will ever cover any news negative to a developer, and both will use any excuse to make council look disfunctional. (The end game here is to eventually get pro-development, pro-sewer council members elected.)

Let the Herald and Beacon continue to give column inches to developer and real estate news releases.

If you want true development news, go to the AJC (even though the Northside section covers too large an area to stay on top of everything, Access Milton or subscribe to the Birmingham Hopewell Alliance newsletter.

Anonymous said...

"If you want true development news, go to the AJC"

I hope I never have to depend on the AJC for imformation.

"If 80% of the population wants to keep sewer out..."

Milton has some sewer,. It's not a question of keeping it "out."

The city needs to have a policy that contols growth [density] in the rural areas and also allows for reasonable commercial development [with sewer]in the areas where it makes sense. [Like Hwy 9] Trying to stop growth is financial suicide from any reasonable perspective.

Problem is some aren't so reasonable and will end up destroying the very thing they claim to want to save.

Anonymous said...

The BHA is dead. What have they consistently done well except divide the community during the last few years. You all need a new group.and a new leader.

Anonymous said...

To 8:25 AM poster:

You are on point and absolutely correct.

Anonymous said...

New poll,

If you bankrupt one civic group [The Birmingham Coalition] and the BHA is dead, how can that same person run a city.

Is there a patern here?

Anonymous said...

Lets hope "she" dosent bancrupt the city?

Anonymous said...

One person can influence others, but doubt have the "power" to solely bankrupt the city. You are all giving her way too much credit and power.

If she's that powerful she should run against Obama.

Anonymous said...

She PERSONALLY handpicked the majority of the council and has Lockwood well-trained to heal.

She can do whatever she pleases at this point. Its all her game now thanks to us. We handed that to her because she promised ONE sewers. And we all know she fights to the death.

All we can do now is wait and see what she wants to do next with our city.

One thing is certain to happen...taxes will need to go up folks......

Anonymous said...

You people are a little paranoid aren't you?

Come on now, Julie Zahner-Bailey isn't that powerful...and she's been making a fool of herself more and more...

You should have been at the last council was quite entertaining to see her ask stupid questions which had already been answered at the council work session the week before...

This wasn't grandstanding...for was that she missed the work session and didn't bother to catch up on the minutes...

And y'all think she is so great...she's a nuisance, and maybe we do need to get rid of her...but I certainly didn't think that Roger Santi came across as much better...

As smug as he is, do you really think he'd be doing anything different? Hell no, he'd be up there grandstanding and posing for the newpapers!

Anonymous said...

Although nieghborhood activist have a place in this world. Electing them to searve as leaders isn't working out very well. Their Cause[s] become persoal Jihad's and they are not open minded enough to believe there could be some middle ground.

Her motto used to be,

"If you agree to sit down and talk to a developer, you giving in!"

Now there's some real leadership Milton style

Anonymous said...

Who is it that you think Julie handpicked for council?

Anonymous said...

Alan "Zahner-Bailey" as he is affectionately called!

Anonymous said...

What is the Milton Grows Green Committee?

Why is it meeting in City Hall if it's not a "city" committee?

If you meet in City Hall can anyone get transcripts of what they are doing?

Anonymous said...

Alan and Julie did not know one another before campaign season.

To put it out there clearly. Alan was not "handpicked" by Julie
rather he was "handpicked" by the people.

Anonymous said...

Alan may not have known Julie before but he certainly does now. He is a puppet of hers. Just listem to him speak and decide who writes his scripts and opinions?

Anonymous said...

I do not agree as you have incorrectly stated that "she personally HANDPICKED the majority of council"
When asked who.
You replied "Alan Zahner-Bailey as he is affectionately called!"

yawn ... i'm done

Anonymous said...

Well anyway at least the AJC {north Fulton July 3, 2008]finally has picked up the ball and begun to ask some with some sense what's going on up here.

Billy Beckett may end up being our savior, Let's hope so. Som'ins gotta give or were gonna be broke.

Anonymous said...

Julie Z B is an Alien from outerspace (not Mexico). She has the ablity of mind control and just by looking at you can control the way you vote, and make you sneeze if she wants to. She doesn't even use the toilet the same way everyone else does, since she is not human, she is an all powerful Alien, run for your lives. AHHH!

Get real whoever you are!
If she's so powerful, then why hasn't she manipulated you and put you under her so called mind control? Oh, because she's not! Duh.

Anonymous said...

For once, an elected official does what the citizens want him to do instead of advancing his own personal agenda, and now you are calling him a puppet. How sad! Alan Tart is doing a great job. He is smart and articulate, and he has done exactly what he promised to do during the campaign. If only we had more leaders like him.